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The Samuel and Harriet America Burrows House Washington, D. C.

  • Year Built: c. 1850

The Samuel and Harriet America Burrows House, one of the earliest in the area, evokes a time when farming, especially on sizeable acreage, was a very prestigious occupation.

Acquired in 1857, the two-story frame house is characteristic of its time and place. It is enhanced by Italianate style detailing, notably the windows on the front facade. The front elevation is divided into three bays with an entry door in the left bay.

A porch wraps around the front and east side of the house up to the projecting bay.

The farm abutted Fort Bayard and during the Civil War part of the acreage was commandeered for billeting troops and a parade ground.

Despite their southern sympathies, the family was hospitable to the Union soldiers who sometimes expressed their gratitude in the form of gifts.

Descendants tell of Abraham Lincoln’s visit to the house after he reviewed the troops at Fort Bayard. Harriet America Burrows lived in the house until 1923.

It was sold by her heirs in 1925, and in 1928 it was moved to Verplanck Place, once named Tenley Place, approximately ten blocks southwest of it original location.

Samuel Burrows with his brothers, John and Levi, also owned a large adjacent farm.

It was this farm that Samuel Burrows sold, after the deaths of his brothers, to the developers of American University Park subdivision. This house may have served as an informal model for the first subdivision houses built in the late nineteenth century.

“Mrs. Burrows personally knew President Abraham, Lincoln,… Lincoln …frequently reviewed the soldiers camped at Fort Bayard, many times standing at a point about where Fessenden Street is now located.

Often-times Lincoln accepted the hospitality of the charming young matron of the Burrows farm, quenching his thirst at the old well still on the farm and partaking of a cold glass of fine rich milk from the splendid dairy herd and some of the dainty artistries of the comely hostess of the farm house…”

Eulogy for Harriet America Burrows
Otho Burrows

(Listed in DC Inventory of Historic Sites, 2011)

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